Are we there yet? Could this possibly be it? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Is the Riyad Mahrez to Roma saga finally being put out to pasture? If you watched any of Leicester City’s 4-3 defeat to Arsenal yesterday, you no doubt noticed Mahrez’s disinterested and lackadaisical display at the Emirates. While he set up Jamie Vardy’s second goal, you’d be hard pressed to call this Mahrez’s best performance for the Foxes.
So, was he simply shaking off a summer’s worth of rust, or was he sending a subtle signal to the powers that be?
Whatever the case may be, as far as Roma is concerned it may prove irrelevant. With the back and forth between the two clubs dragging into its third month, Arch Maester Monchi is tired of all this jibber jabber and issued an ultimatum to his English counterparts: make a deal by August 15th or hit the bricks.
While it’s a nice gesture, one can’t help but think it should have been done several weeks ago. I have no doubt Monchi has a list of alternatives up his sleeve, but setting a deadline a mere five days before your club’s first match of the season isn’t exactly a recipe for success.
The writing has been on the wall since at least mid-July—this deal just isn’t happening. Roma needed to cut bait around Bastille Day, not let this play out until the transfer window’s final days. By delaying and delaying and delaying, Roma risk running out of options in the transfer market. If Real suffers an injury, boom, there goes Lucas Vazquez. If they keep pining for Mahrez while Patrik Schick finds another employer, then another one bites the dust.
You get the point, in this instance Monchi is showing a bit too much of his inner Walter Sabatini; you have to make hay while the sunshines, not wait until dusk sets in.